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tv   60 Minutes  CBS  May 16, 2010 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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captioning funded by cbs and ford-- built for the road ahead. >> just takes your breath away, explosion, shake your body to the core explosion. >> mike williams was the chief electronics technician on board the deep water horizon, one of the last to escape the inferno after the blowout in the gulf. he believes a series of mishaps may have lead to the catastrophe and his story which may be critical to the investigation hasn't been told until tonight. >> all the things that they told us could never happen, happened. >> what he's saying is very important to this investigation, you believe? >> it is. >> whose's responsible? >> bp.
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>> ta da. >> it was a huge day for this kid from venezuela, his first rehearsal and his first day as music director for the los angeles philharmonic. at 29 he is the youngest and in many eyes, the most charismatic conductor in the world today. but what really sets him apart is what he brought with him to the u.s. a program to help kids from all over america for the rest of their lives. >> good, very good. >> i'm steve kroft. >> i'm lesley stahl. >> i'm bob simon. >> i'm morley safer. >> i'm anderson cooper. >> i'm scott pelley. >> those stories and andy rooney tonight on "60 minutes." we encounter new opportunities.
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at the hartford, we help you pursue them with confidence. by preparing you for tomorrow. while protecting what you have today. you've counted on us for 200 years. let's embrace tomorrow. and with the hartford behind you, achieve what's ahead of you. a br eai'thm inbr nn ou nc(aernn)ou a ncco wpdit,h cl ud ison,chitis, em phys emema,ph oysrem a, onews. ad n re gca vair hadelvapsir s higelnipse o va air iadom m osfrt omot mhe caus e beth a n boanthti a-in ni la'tce r st -a ctfa caus e beth a n boanthti a-in ni
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>> pelley: the gusher unleashed in the gulf of mexico continues to spew crude oil. there are no reliable estimates of how much oil is pouring into the gulf, but it comes to many millions of gallons since the catastrophic blowout. 11 men from killed in the explosions that sank one of the most sophisticated drilling rigs in the world, the deep water horizon. this week congress continues its investigation. but congress has not heard from the man you are about to meet, mike williams was one of the last crew members to escape the inferno. he says the destruction of the deep water horizon had
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been building for weeks in a series of mishaps. the night of the disaster he was in his workshop when he heard the rigs engines suddenly run wild. that was the moment that explosive gas was shooting across the decks, being sucked into the engines that powered the rig's generators. >> the higher the engines revving, the lights are glowing, i'm hearing the alarm. they are at a constant state, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, it doesn't stop. but even that is getting drowned out by the sound of the engine increasing in speed. and my lights get so incredibly bright that they physically explode. i'm pushing my way back from the desk when my computer monitor exploded. >> pelley: this is the deep water horizon in the hours before its destruction the night of april 20th. ironically, the end was coming only months after the rig's greatest achievement. mike williams was the chief electronics technician in
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charge of the rig's computers and electrical systems and seven months before, he'd helped crew drill the deepest oil well in history, 35,000 feet. >> they were special. there's no way around it. everyone was talking about it. congratulations that were flowing around t just made you feel proud to work there. >> pelley: williams worked for the owner, transocean, the largest off-shore drilling company. like its sister rigs, the deep water horizon cost $350 million, rose 378 feet from bottom to top. both advanced and safe, none of her 126 crew had been seriously injured in seven years. >> go, go, go! >> pelley: the safety record was remarkable because offshore drilling today pushes technology with challenges marched only-- matched only by the space program. deep water horizon was in 5,000 feet of water and would drill another 13,000
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feet. a total of 3.5 miles. the oil & gas down there are under enormous pressure and the key to keeping the pressure under control is this fluid that drillers call mud. mud is a man-made drilling fluid that is pumped down the well and back up the sides in continuous circulation. the sheer weight of this fluid keeps the oil & gas down, and the well under control. >> come on. >> pelley: the tension in every drilling operation is between doing things safely and doing them fast. time is money. and this job was costing bp a million dollars a day. but williams says there was trouble from the start. getting to the oil was taking too long. how long did you expect it to take? >> we were told 21 days. >> pelley: . >> pelley: how long did it actually take. >> we were at 6 weeks. >> pelley: with the schedule slipping, williams says a bp manager ordered a faster pace. >> and he requested to the
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driller hey, let's bump it up. let's bump it up. and what he was talking about there, he's bumping up the rate of penetration, how fast the drill bit is going down. >> pelley: williams says going faster caused the bottom of the well to split open, swallowing tools and the drilling fluid called mud. >> we actually got stuck. we got stuck so bad that we had to send tools down into the drill pipe and sever the pipe. >> pelley: that well was abandoned. deep water horizon had to drill a new route to the oil it cost bp more than two weeks and millions of dollars. >> we were informed of this during one of the safety meetings that somewhere in the neighborhood of $25 million was lost in bottom hoe assembly and mud. and you always kind of knew that in the back of your mind when they start throwing these big numbers around, that there was going to be a push coming. a push to pick up production, pick up the pace. >> pelley: there was pressure on the crew after this happened? >> there is always pressure. but yes, the pressure was increased.
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>> pelley: but the trouble was just beginning. when drilling resumed, williams says there was an accident on the rig that has not been reported before. he says four weeks before the explosion, the rig's most vital piece of safety equipment was damaged. down near the sea bed is the blowout preventer or bop it is used to sale the well shut in order to test the pressure and integrity of the well and in case of a blowout, it's the crew's only hope. a key component is a rubber gasket at the top called an anular which can close tightly around the drill pipe. williams says that during a test they closed the gasket but while it was shut tight, a crewman on deck accidentally nudged a joystick applying hundreds of thousands of pounds of force, and moving 15 feet of drill pipe through the closed blowout preventer. later, a man monitoring drilling fluid rising to the top made a troubling find. >> he discovered chunks of
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rubber in the drilling fluid. he thought it was important enough to gather this double handful of chunks of rubber and bring them into the driller shack. i recall asking the supervisor if this was out of the ode. he's oh, it's no big deal. and i thought how can it be not a big deal. there's chunks of our seal that is now missing. >> pelley: and williams says he knew about another problem with the blowout preventer. the bop is operated from the surface by wires connected to two control pods. one is a back-up. williams says that one of the pods lost some of its function weeks before. transocean tells us that b o p was tested by remote control of these incidents and passed but nearly a mile blow there was no way to know how much damage there was or why the pods seemed unreliable. in the hours before the disaster, deep water horizon's
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work was nearly done. all that was left was to seal the well closed. the oil would be pumped out by another rig later. williams says that during a safety meeting the manager for the rig owner, transocean, was explaining how they were going to close the well. when the manager from bp interrupted. >> had the bp company man sitting directly beside me and he literally perked up and said, well, my process is different. and i think we're going to do it this way: and they kind of lined out the way he thought it should go that day. so there was sort of a chest-bumping kind of deal. the communication seemed to really break down as to who was ultimately in charge. >> pelley: the day of the accident bp flew several managers to the deep water horizon for a ceremony to congratulate the crew for seven years without an injury. while they were there, a surge of explosive gas came
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flying up the well from three miles blow. the rigs diesel engines which power its electric generators sucked in the gas and began to run wild. >> i'm hearing hissing. engines are overrevving and then all of a sudden all the lights in my shop just started getting brighter and brighter and brighter. and i knew-- i knew then we were-- something bad was getting ready to happen. >> pelley: it was almost 10:00 at night, and directly under the deep water horizon were four men in a fishing boat. albert andry, dustin king, ryan chasten and wesley borg. >> when i heard the gas coming out, i knew exactly what it was almost immediately. >> pelley: when the gas cloud was descending on you, what was that like? >> it was-- it was scary. and when i looked at it, it burned my eyes. and i knew we had to get out of there. >> pelley: you could tell what it was? >> i knew it was methane. >> pelley: on the rig mike williams was reaching for a door to investigate the engine noise. >> these are three inch
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thick steel fire rated doors with six stainless steel hinges supporting them on the frame. as i reached for the handle i heard this awful hissing noise-- and at the height of the his a huge explosion. the explosion literally rips the door from the hinges, hits-- impacts me and takes me to the other side of the shop. and i'm up against the wall when i finally come around with the door on top of me. and i remember thinking to myself, you know, this is it. i'm going to die right here. >> pelley: the men on the fishing boat had a came ro. >> look at the water on fire. >> i begin to crawl across the floor. as i got to the next door, it exploded. and took me, the door and flung me about 35 feet backwards again.
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and planted me up against another wall. at that point i actually got angry. i was mad at the doors. i was mad that these firedoors that are supposed to protect me are hurting me. and at that point i made a decision. i'm going to get outside. i may die out there but i'm going to get outside. so i crawl across the water and make my way to that opening where i see the light. i made it out the door. and i thought to myself, i have accomplished what i set out to accomplish. i made it outside. at least now i can breathe. i may die out here, but i can breathe. >> pelley: williams couldn't see. something was pouring into his eyes and that's when he noticed a gash on his forehead. >> i didn't know if it was blood. i didn't know if it was brainings. i didn't know if it was flesh, i didn't know what it was. i just knew that i was in trouble. at that point i grabbed a life jacket. i was on the aft life boat deck there were two
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functioning life boats at my disposal right there. but i knew i couldn't board them. i had responsibilities. >> pelley: his responsibility was to report to the bridge, the rig's command center. >> i'm hearing alarms. i'm hearing radio chatter, may day, may day, may day, we've lost proposing, we've lost power. man overboard on the starboard side deck. >> any person to be saved will be really appreciated. >> pelley: williams says that on the bridge he watched them try to activate emergency systems. >> the bop that was supposed to protect us and keep us from the blowout, obviously had failed. and now the emergency disconnect to get us away from its fuel source had failed. we have no communications to the bop. >> the situation-- fire, a lot of people jumping in the water. >> i see one of the life boats if in the water and it is motoring away from the vessel. i looked at the captain and asked him, what is going on. he said i've given the order
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to abandon ship. >> pelley: every sunday they had practiced life boat drills and the procedure for making sure that everyone was accounted for. but in the panic, all that went to hell. the life boats were leaving. they were leaving without you. >> they had left without the cap pain and without knowing that they had everyone that survived all this on board. i had been left now by two life boats. so i look at the captain, i say what do we do now? by now the fire is not only on the derek t is starting to spread to the deck. at that point there were several more explosions. large, intense explosions. >> pelley: what do they feel like? sound like? >> it's just take your breath away type explosions, shake your body to the core, explosions. take your vision away from the percussion of the explosions. >> pelley: about eight survivors were left on the rig. they dropped an inflatable raft from a crane but with only a few of the survivors
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on the raft, it was launched leaving williams, another man and a crew woman named andrea. >> i remember looking at andrea and seeing that look in her eyes of, she had quit. she had given up. i remember her saying i'm scared. and i said it's okay to be scared. i'm scared too. she said what are we going to do? i said we're going to burn up or we're going to jump. >> pelley: how far is it to the sea? >> maybe 90 feet, 100 feet. it's a long ways. >> pelley: in the middle of the night with blood in his eyes, fire at his back and the sea ten stories below williams made his choice. >> i remember closing my eyes and saying a prayer and asking god to tell my wife and little girl that daddy did everything he could. and that if i survive this
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it's for a reason. i made those three steps, and i pushed off the end of the rig. and i fell for what seemed like forever. a lot of things go through your mind. >> pelley: the rest of mike williams' story and a look at the company responsible for the disaster when we come back. >> and good evening. a mile long tube is siphoning oil from the well to a tanker on the surface. a new estimate predicts insurance losses from the oil spill could reach $3.5 billion. and "iron mann 2" wins the weekend box office for a second time. i'm russ mitchell, cbs news.
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>> pelley: with the life jacket, mike williams, the chief electronics technician aboard the deep water horizon jumped feet first off the deck and away from the inferno. he had witnessed key events before the disaster but if he was going to tell anyone, he would have to survive a ten storey drop into the sea. >> i went down way below the surface, obviously. when i popped back up, i felt-- i felt like okay, i've made it. but i feel this god awful burning all over me. and i'm thinking am i on fire. you know, i just don't know. so i start doing the only thing i know to do, swim. i got to get away from this
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thing. i could tell i was floating in oil, and grease and diesel fuel. i mean just the smell. and i remember looking under the rig and seeing the water on fire. and i thought what have you done? you were dry and you weren't covered in oil up there. now you've jumped and you've made this and you have landed in oil. the fire is going to come across the water and you are going to burn up. and i thought you just got to swim harder. so i swam and i kicked and i swam and i kicked and i swam as hard as i could until i remember not feeling any more pain. and i didn't hear anything. i thought well, i must have burned up. because i don't feel anything. i don't hear anything. i don't smell anything. i must be dead. and i remember a real faint voice of over here, over here. and i thought what in the world is that. and the next thing i know he grabbed my life jacket and
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flipped me over into this small open bowed boat. i didn't know who he was. i didn't know where he had come from. i didn't care. i was now out of the water. >> pelley: williams survival may be critical to the investigation. we took his story to dr. bob beatty, a professor of engineering at the university of california berkeley. last week the white house asked bee to help analyze the deep water horizon accident. he investigated the space shuttle columbia disaster for nasa and the hurricane katrina disaster for the national science foundation. his voice never clearly recovered from the weeks that he spent in the flood in new orleans but as the white house found, he's among the nation's best. he has investigated more than 20 off-shore rig disasters. >> mr. williams comes forward with these very detailed elements from his viewpoint on the rig, that is a very intelligent man.
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>> pelley: what he is saying is very important to this investigation, you believe. >> it is. >> pelley: what strikes the professor is mike williams description of the blowout preventer. williams says that in a drilling accident four weeks before the explosion, the critical rubber gasket called an anular was damaged and pieces of it started coming out 69 well. >> pelley: according to williams, when parts of the anular start coming up on to the deck, someone from transocean says, look, don't worry about it. what does that tell you? >> well, houston, i think we have a problem. >> pelley: here's why that's so important. the anular is used to seal the well for pressure tests. and those tests determine whether dangerous gas is seeping in. so if the anular is damaged, if i understand you correctly, you can't do the pressure tests in a reliable
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way. >> that's correct. you may get pressure recordings but because you are leaking pressure, they are not reliable. >> pelley: mike williams also told us that a backup control system to the blowout preventer called a pod had lost some of its functions. what is the standard operating procedure if you lose one of the control pods on a b.o.p.. >> reestablish it, fix it. it's like losing one of your legs. >> pelley: the morning of the disaster according to williams there was an argument in front of all of the men on the ship between the transocean manager and the bp manager. do you know what that argument was about? >> yes. >> pelley: what was it? >> whose's boss. >> pelley: in finish the well the plan was to have a subcontractor halliburton place three concrete plugs like corks in the column. the transocean manager wanted to do this with the column full of heavy drilling fluid, what drillers call mud, to keep
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the pressure down below contained. but the bp manager wanted to begin to remove the mud before the last plug was set. that would reduce the pressure controlling the well before the plugs were finished. >> pelley: why would bp want to do that? >> it expedites the subsequent steps. >> pelley: it's a matter of going faster. >> faster, sure. >> pinkston: who won the argument. >> bp. >> pinkston: if the mud had been left in the column, would there have been a blowout. >> it doesn't look like it. >> pinkston: . >> pelley: to do it bp away they had to be absolutely certain that the first two plugs were keeping the pressure down. that life or death test was done using the blowout preventer which had the damaged gasket. investigators have also found that the b.o.p. had a hydraulic leak and a weak battery. weeks before the disaster they know that they are drilling in to a very dangerous formation. the formation has told them
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that. >> that's correct. >> pelley: and has cost them millions of dollars. >> that's correct. >> pelley: and they know the b.o.p. is broken. >> correct. >> pelley: broken in a number of ways. >> correct. >> pelley: what is the appropriate thing to do at that point? >> i expressed it to my institutes this way. it's stop, think, don't do something stupid. >> pelley: they didn't stop. as the drilling fluid was removed, relieving the downward pressure, the plugs failed. the blowout preventer didn't work. and 11 men were incinerated. 115 crew members survived. two days later, the deep water horizon sank to the bottom. this was just the latest disaster for a company that is the largest oil producer in the united states. bp, once known as british petroleum, was found willfully negligent in a 2005 texas refinery explosion that killed 15 of its workers. bp was hit with $108 million
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in fines, the highest workplace safety fines in u.s. history. now we have found there is new concern about another bp facility in the gulf. a former bp insider tells us this platform called atlantis is a greater threat than the deep water horizon. ken abbott has worked for shell and ge. and in 20089 he was hired by bp to manage thousands of engineering drawings for the atlantis platform. >> they serve as blueprints and also as a operator manual, if you will, on how to make this thing work and more importantly, how to shut it down in an emergency. >> pelley: but abbott says that he found that 89% of those critical drawings had not been inspected and approved by bp engineers. even worse, he says 95% of the underwater welding plans had never been approved either. are these welding procedures
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supposed to be approved in the paperwork before the welds are done? >> absolutely, yeah, critical. >> pelley: critical. >> critical. >> pelley: abbotts charges are backed up by bp internal e-mails. in 2008 bp manager barry duff wrote that the lack of approved drawings could result in catastrophic operator errors. and currently there are hundreds, if not thousands, of sub c documents that have never been finalized. duff called the practice fundamentally wrong. >> i've never seen this kind of attitude where, you know, safety doesn't seem to matter. and when you complain of a problem like barry did and like i did, and try to fix it, you are just criticized and pushed aside. >> pelley: ken abbott was laid off. he took his concerns to a consumer advocacy group called food and water watch. they're asking congress to investigate. and he is filing suit in an attempt to force the federal government to shut down atlantis.
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>> the atlantis is still pumping away out there, 200,000 barrels a day. and it will be four times that in a year or two when they put in all 16 wells. i mean, if something happens there it will make the deep water horizon look like, you know, a bubble in the water by comparison. >> pelley: in an e-mail bp told us the atlantis crew had all the documents it needs to run the platform safely. we also wanted bp's perspective on the deep water horizon disaster. the company scheduled an interview with its ceo tony hayward and then they cancelled saying no one at bp could sit down with "60 minutes" for this report. in other interviews hayward has said this about transocean, the owner of the deep water horizon. >> the responsibility for safety on the drilling rig is with transocean. it is their rig. their equipment, their people, their systems, their safety processes. >> pelley: when bp's chief executive officer tony hayward says that this is
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transocean's accident, what you do-- do you say? >> i get sick. this kind of division in the industry is a killer. the industry is comprised of many organizations, and they all share the responsibility for successful operations. and to start placing, we'll call it these barriers and pointing fingers at each other is totally destructive. >> pelley: but who's responsible? >> bp. >> pelley: we went out on the gulf and found mats of thick floating oil. no one has a fix on how much oil is shooting ot of the well. but some of the best estimates suggest it's the equivalent of the exxon valdez spill every four to seven days. scientists are now reporting vast plums of oil, up to ten miles long under the surface. the spill has cost bp about
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$500 million so far. but consider in just the first three months of this year, bp made profits of $6 billion. there are plenty of accusations to go around. that bp pressed for speed. halliburton's cement plugs failed and transocean damaged the blowout preventer. through all the red flags they've pressed ahead. it was, after all, the deep water horizon, the world record holder, celebrated as among the safest in the fleet. >> men lost their lives. i don't know how else to say it. all the things that they told us could never happen, happened.
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♪ come with me and you'll be >> simon: there's something about gustavo dudamel. maybe it's the hair? maybe it's the joy he exudes when he's conducting. at the age of 29, he's classical music's reigning "rock star." everything is going for him-- critical international acclaim, recording contracts, and last fall, he took over the los angeles philharmonic.
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ask him about it and he'll tell you he owes it all to a remarkable program in his native venezuela, a social program that has used music to change his own life and the lives of millions of children there. venezuelans call it "el sistema"-- "the system"-- and gustavo is bringing it to the u.s., where he believes it can work wonders. but before we tell you about it, we want you to see why gustavo dudamel is simply the most exciting conductor in the world. it's probably because, for him, music is not just his profession. he couldn't get through the day without it. >> gustavo dudamel: it's something that i need. it's like the air. it's like water. it's like food. i need music. i have to be, you know, always around the sound and... and the
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magic. >> simon: it was a huge day for this kid from venezuela, his first rehearsal on his first day as music director of the los angeles philharmonic. at 29, he's by far the youngest maestro of any major orchestra in the world. but age is not the only thing that distinguishes him from the other guys. there is something about gustavo that is primal, something that makes people describe him as a "conducting animal." he coaxes his musicians. he inspires them.
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he amuses them. he was rehearsing gustav mahler's turbulent first symphony for the most anticipated conducting debut in decades: his. >> dudamel: if you ask me if i'm nervous, i'm not nervous never. >> simon: you've never been scared? >> dudamel: about music? no. >> simon: when gustav mahler reaches his crescendo, so does gustavo dudamel. do you know where we're going now? >> dudamel: where we are going, the place? >> simon: yeah. >> dudamel: we are going to hollywood. ( laughs ) >> simon: hollywood-- not a bad place for a guy loaded with
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talent and charisma. gustavo was so sought after, he could have conducted almost anywhere. he chose los angeles, in part, because he thought it was a good place to transplant "the system" to the u.s. is this the first time you've both lived in the united states? >> yes. >> simon: and gustavo and his wife eloisa believe that teaching classical music can transform the lives of thousands of l.a. kids. >> dudamel: you know, can you imagine classical music for everybody? you know, this is a crazy dream. but it's true, because it's happening. >> simon: what do you want to build for the future? >> dudamel: to build a better life through the music and, i think, speaking with music, you can do many things. >> simon: "a better life through music"-- that's the idea behind yola, the youth orchestra of los angeles. gustavo wanted it and he got it, an orchestra with an ambitious social agenda. >> gretchen nielsen: we want to develop extraordinary human beings, one by one.
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>> simon: gretchen nielsen, the l.a. philharmonic's education director, runs yola. what do you hope to accomplish? >> nielsen: i think we're... we're really striving to change the landscape of los angeles. we want to see these kids graduate. we want to see them just connect to the world in ways that they might not have normally otherwise. and... and we want to see it across this city. >> simon: you're speaking of something which resembles a revolution in this community. >> nielsen: it feels like a revolution, because it builds. >> simon: from nothing three years ago to a free music education program that, after school four hours a day four days a week, teaches the basics to 300 kids from south l.a., one of the city's poorest neighborhoods. everything from the language of music to the fundamentals of rhythm to how to get that clarinet to make a sound. >> now, we're officially all now clarinetists >> simon: on saturdays, all the kids get together in an orchestra. the day we were there, so was gustavo. he's been conducting youth
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orchestras back in venezuela since he was 13, and has his own way of getting musicians to understand the music. >> dudamel: what do you want to play first? >> "gypsy!" >> dudamel: let's do "gypsy," okay? and one and... ♪ >> dudamel: no, no, no. good, good, but in tempo and together. ♪ la, la, re, fa... you know, it's like a man talking to a girl, you know? ♪ la, la, re, fa. no. ♪ sol, fa, sol, la? maybe? ( laughter ) >> simon: almost none of these kids knew anything about classical music before they came here. what gustavo knows is that the program does a lot more than teach music. it builds character, discipline and teamwork, and it keeps kids off the streets. why did you pick this neighborhood?
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>> nielsen: there are kids in that neighborhood who never leave the boundaries of south l.a. it's needed for them to be able to bust out of the confines of that neighborhood. >> dudamel: up, please. we are playing like we are, i don't know, how old are you, 85? ( chuckles ) one more time, please. ( plays beethoven's "ode to joy" ) >> simon: they couldn't have "busted out" much further than to the hollywood bowl. the bowl may have been empty, but this grandest of stages was packed with youngsters. gustavo was rehearsing these musicians, many of whom picked up their instruments for the first time only a couple of years ago. two days later, they were back
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playing in a music festival welcoming gustavo to town. this time before 18,000 people. what is your vision for the future of yola? >> dudamel: to multiply all the program in los angeles, and to go around the country. >> simon: gustavo was in chicago last year to help make that happen. he went there for a symposium on what "the system" is all about. >> the movement has started with a significant number of cities. >> simon: the head of el systema usa said it's already spreading. >> chicago, los angeles, baltimore, new york, miami and boston are among them. >> simon: and what better way to promote it than this: venezuela's simon bolivar youth orchestra flown in for the symposium.
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gustavo has been conducting these musicians for 11 years now. here they are filling chicago's orchestra hall for a rehearsal. just listen to them. ♪ all these musicians have one thing in common. they started out like this, as youngsters in neighborhood orchestras. that's how "the system" works. when we went to venezuela, we found them everywhere-- in schools, abandoned buildings, juvenile detention centers, even in jails. 600 orchestras and choirs in all, a massive national program with more than a quarter of a million kids-- kids like gustavo, who started in the system when he was five, and was doing pretty well when we first met him ten years ago. he says "the system" kept him out of trouble. >> dudamel: i have to give the message of what we are doing in venezuela.
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>> simon: you speak about the message of "el sistema"-- what is that message? >> dudamel: that through music, through arts is possible to change life of thousands of childrens, change the life of a complete society. >> simon: hardly anyplace needs that change more than west baltimore, where poverty, drugs, and shootings are endemic; where, since last fall, young children carrying musical instruments to school has been a common sight. about 150 pre-k to third graders at lockerman bundy elementary school belong to a new, privately funded music program started by marin alsop, the conductor of the baltimore symphony orchestra. called orchestra kids, or "orchkids" for short, it's another example of the system taking root in america. >> marin alsop: it's all about exposure at a very, very young age. there's so many skill sets that you need-- coordination, you
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have to develop your ear, you have to develop your brain. and just like learning a foreign language, the younger you start, the more fluent you become. >> simon: and that's what you're trying to do with orchkids? >> alsop: you know, it's sort of a work in progress. >> simon: work really kicked off last october, when a truck pulled up at the school carrying $50,000 worth of musical instruments, enough for an orchestra, and enough to make these kids think it was christmas. >> i got a big one. ( warming up ) alsop: parents are parents. when you offer someone's child an opportunity to better themselves, i mean, all the parents... >> simon: people jump at it, huh? >> alsop: they jump at it. dan, so you want to show your dad what you can do? let's come on in here. >> simon: we saw an example of that when alsop, and dan trahey, who runs orchkids, ran into tuba player miguel ware. he's five. >> dan trahey: all right. all we need from you guys is a commitment that he'll be here. >> simon: parents have to sign a contract promising that kids like miguel will be there, get good grades, and take care of their instruments.
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when the regular school day ends at 3:15, the kids start making music-- start making music. if they stick with the program, they'll be doing it all the way from kindergarten to the fifth grade. a staff of about 15 teachers, some of them musicians from the baltimore symphony, work with the kids. you always talk about how music can transform the life of a child. can you be more specific? how does music actually do this transformation? >> dudamel: it's a discipline. and if you have this kind of discipline from the beginning of your life, it's something. >> simon: so, when you give a little violin to a little kid, you feel like you're doing something which is life- transforming? >> dudamel: absolutely. >> simon: deshane parker, a single mother with three children in the program, says they love it. >> deshane parker: they want to come to school every day. they don't want to miss a day from the program.
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and now that they're bringing their instruments home, it's just teaching them how to be, you know, better children and responsible. >> simon: and you play the cello. we saw that yesterday. >> yes. >> cello. >> yes. >> cello. >> simon: what is it about the cello that you like? >> you can play different sounds on different strings and you can make it sound different. you can play open notes and harmonics. >> simon: you know a lot about music, don't you? >> yes. >> simon: and the kids in baltimore are already picking up the baton, a baton which could one day take them someplace like this. this was maestro gustavo dudamel's debut as music director of the philharmonic from the city of angels and stars. ♪
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>> rooney: i have good news for you tonight. according to an american gaming association report, revenue from casino gambling fell by almost $2 billion last year. a lot of people are out of work, and it turns out that when people are unemployed, they gamble less. you'd think they might gamble more, but they don't. there's some good things about everything, i guess. in 2008, the casinos earned $32.5 billion. last year, they earned only $30.7 billion. the thing that bothers me most about gambling is that people fritter away money so they don't get to spend it on things that someone else has been paid to produce. gambling produces nothing. there's only so much money in the world, and if it's lost at a gambling table, it's money that isn't spent on things america makes. i mean, who's best for this country, a machinist at an automobile plant in detroit or a blackjack dealer in las vegas? the gambling casinos keep
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